December 28, 2020

My subscription to Acho on YouTube gleaned me another insight as he addressed the topic of failure.  Apparently, a twitter troll had sent a screen shot of all the failures he experienced during his brief NFL career (as if he did not already know, right?).  Rather than debating his career, Acho instead looked at the list and realized these were his “favorite” failures.  Without his NFL career he would not have the opportunities he has been given.  Without his injuries and failure in the NFL he would not have moved on to accomplish what he has done over the last five years.  Failure shaped him, but it did not define him.  That is why these failures were considered his favorite.

Acho is not unique in overcoming failure to find your life’s niche.  What I have come to realize is that life is not about having a job, it is about having a purpose.  A job is something you do to make money to survive.  It is often not what you enjoy and is hopefully short term.  Every life coach and job guru I have read reminds us we need to decide what we are passionate about, and then work to create our place in that field.  This can become a career, a place where we are comfortable and enjoy working.  We need to keep looking until we find what makes us whole.  Our life’s work may change as many times as do the situations in our life.  If we follow our passion, if we follow our bliss, the end will give us a purpose.

Acho went on to describe his tenure in the NFL, including multiple injuries and getting cut five times by the same team.  Finally, he realized he had enough and decided to move on.  That meant moving into TV and it was there he found his real calling.  Being a TV sports commentator gave Acho the platform to create “how you know me, as ‘An Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man.”  Without his failure, he would have never gone on to find the success he now has.  Acho closed challenging his hearers, “What has been your favorite failure?”

Thoughts:  When I lost a job (failure?), I got a card from my son, Alex.  The front cover was a picture of a closed door.  Inside the card there was a picture of an opened window.  The caption read, “When life closes a door, God always opens a window.”  Alex had also written words of encouragement as I continued my search for another job.  I admit, my immediate reaction was, “Yeah, the window opened, and I fell through it to the ground.”  There are many who feel the same way now as I did then.  Being in a food line or waiting for the unemployment check is not fulfilling, regardless of what some may say.  Wanting to work is not the same as finding a job.  We need to find ways to provide everyone a purpose.  Do the work.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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